All posts filed under: California

Bronco’s Bright Green Future

A focus on sustainability
drives progress as Bronco
Wine Company hits a
1 billion bottle milestone.

Franzia’s Unified Keynote Speaks to Past, Present and Future

In a rare and much anticipated public address, Bronco CEO Fred Franzia delivered the January 26 keynote speech and, with it, set the stage for the 2016 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento. Franzia paid homage to the founding figures of the California wine industry, including his uncle Ernest Gallo, with a look back at their history and, with his characteristic candor, tackled some of the trade’s most relevant topics. As the nation’s largest vineyard owner — Bronco Wine owns in excess of 40,000 acres — he was quick to count grape growers among the most interesting and opinionated people he deals with in the industry. He credited Central Valley growers with teaching him much through the many hours he’s spent in their company over the last 50 years. Expressing regard for his peers and fellow industry icons Robert Mondavi and Jess Jackson, Franzia pointed to their similar practice of always tasting blind and their keen ability to critique what they tasted. On the subject of industry growth, Franzia was at once optimistic and …

UV Tank Sanitation a Viable Conservation Strategy

A new method for sanitizing stainless steel tanks and barrels using ultraviolet light is finding a receptive audience in California. The BlueMorph technology has been in development for four years and is coming to market at an opportune time. According to founding partner Alex Farren, a biochemist and toxicologist, the method known as Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) uses little or no water, no chemicals and only takes 30 seconds to install. Depending upon size, tanks can be sanitized in less than 30 minutes.

Journey to the west

San Francisco has long been a destination for travelers. Some, like Miljenko “Mike” Grgich, arrive and spend a lifetime realizing their dreams, while others cross the globe for the purpose of sharing their dreams. Croatian-born Mike Ggrich made his way west in 1958 and set the wheels of his destiny in motion when he began making wine at Souverain Cellars. Mike’s legacy is a familiar one, and now, at age 91, the man whose hands made the Chardonnay that helped put California on the map when it won the Paris Tasting in 1976, is a bona fide and well-deserved bon vivant. At a recent retrospective tasting hosted in the newly-renovated Ranch House at his Napa estate, Mike, his nephew and winemaker for Grgich Hills Ivo Jeramaz and daughter Violet seemed as much a part of the terroir as the wines themselves. Together they presented a vertical of Grgich Hills Yountville Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 1991, 1994, 1997, 2004, 2007 and the just-released 2010 for almost 20 years of perspective on the vineyard. Grgich Hills Yountville Selection …

Eclectic, Electric Lodi Zinfandel

Lodi has long been synonymous with Zinfandel. The region which is defined by seven sub-regions produces 40 percent of the state’s crop. Vineyards of old and downright ancient vines have survived due largely to sandy, Phylloxera-free soils and the popularity of white Zinfandel. As a mono-varietal red, Zinfandel’s exuberant character has made it a favorite among consumers and fueled Lodi’s focus on the production of world-class wines. As early as 2003, when there were 50 wineries in the AVA, the Lodi Winegrape Commission began evaluating wines submitted by producers as part of a selected case known as the 12 Zins of Lodi. A decade later and with over 80 bonded to its credit, Lodi Zinfandels are being made in a broader range of weights and styles which makes the prospect of a representative case even more intriguing. Read the article here: Lodi Zinfandel 42014

Bay Laurels: Catching Up With San Francisco’s Beverage Trendsetters

  The dust has settled after a flurry of restaurant openings in San Francisco last fall. Taking stock at the six-month mark, we’ve spotted a few trends in on-premise drinking and dining and not a food truck in sight. Finely-tuned beverage programs and the talents behind them are taking center stage in the reinterpretation and renovation of the City’s dining scene, one that is thriving under the direction of seasoned veterans and newcomers alike. For some, cuisine provides the soaring inspiration behind beverage pairings and, for others, it plays a solid supporting role that lets a list shine without pretension. Read the article here: Bay Laurels

An Oakville Retrospective: A Look at 19 Vintages of Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

  For the maker, wine requires patience; it seems to mark time at a different pace than much of the world around it. Imagine a chef who had 30 tries in as many years to master a recipe or a musician who plays one performance a year for three decades to master a symphony. For the casual consumer, however, wine is, more often than not, immediate gratification. Read the article here: An Oakville Retrospective

Taking The Cure: An Age-Old Practice Serves Up A New Classic

  When applied to wine grapes and to beef, the artisanal process of drying to concentrate and increase the complexity of flavors produces a savory, umami-driven experience. While there’s no mystery behind the affinity between red wine and beef, Amarone producer Masi teamed up with local purveyor Flannery Beef for a tasting that elevated this classic to new heights. Staged at San Francisco restaurant Perbacco, Umberto Gibin’s long-running destination that serves as a home away from home for visiting Italian wine producers, Masi’s Rafaelle Boscaini and Bryan Flannery shared a few insights about their respective methods of air-curing and then let their extraordinary products do the talking. Boscaini poured a bold Masianco 2013 Pinot Grigio to accompany a seasonal composed salad and followed with two Amarone—a 2008 Riserva di Costasera and 2007 Moncenisio, a Molinara-dominant wine that ages in cherry—served with Flannery’s unique cuts of 20-day and 40-day dry-aged beef. The pairings were masterful in that they were utterly complete; the 2007 was better suited to the longer-aged rib cap, a cut formed from the outer part of …

Sprucing Up The Goose: A New Chapter For Goosecross Cellars

“We’re in pop-up mode,” said vintner Christi Coors Ficeli who purchased Goosecross Cellars in 2013 and broke ground on a winery expansion in November 2014. Closing the tasting room during construction wasn’t an option for Coors Ficeli, whose fiercely loyal club members are content to taste her current releases in a single-wide trailer with a view of the construction. “We’re engaging our club members in the next chapter of our winery’s story,” says Coors Ficeli.“When completed, the new winery will have a large patio area devoted to outdoor seating so we can take full advantage of our west-facing view of the Mayacamas.” Read the entire article here: Sprucing Up The Goose

For Natural Cork, Form Follows Function

For wine, as with most consumer goods, packaging is an obsession, and rightly so; its role in the commercial success of a product is undeniable. Packaging is usually the consumer’s first impression of a brand and it contributes greatly to the experience of enjoying wine. We touch a wine bottle repeatedly, often read and record the label in its entirety, gaze at it while we’re drinking and we may even save it for posterity. Considering the time, effort and resources that companies devote to wine packaging, labels seem to get the lion’s share of the attention. But that’s not always the case for products such as the cork which actually come in contact with the wine. “Cork tends to be treated like a commodity,” said Vance Rose, director of sales and marketing at Amorim, “and wineries often buy cork based upon price alone.” Read full article For Natural Cork, Form Follows Function here.